Introducing SMT: Stoner Mean Time

People sometimes ask me why I put so much emphasis on Mt. Tamalpais as the spiritual home of 420.

When our ancient tribal ancestors went to the top of the magic mountain, it was a vision quest to discover themselves. Going up is always a good thing, it’s when you feel yourself sinking down you have to be careful.

The Waldos started 420 in 1971, and organized many ceremonies on April 20th for years, and I’m sure they still do. But after over a decade, spontaneous gatherings erupted at the summit of Mt. Tam on April 20th at 4:20 pm that had nothing to do with the Waldos. When I heard about these gatherings, I made 420 the central ceremony of all my events like the Cannabis Cup and Whee!, as well as part of my daily life. So you have to understand Mt. Tam plays a key symbolic role in the story of 420.

This revelation actually occurred to me because I needed to figure out a way to get all the MCC operators to turn on and tune up to the same frequency at the same time, so we can see if that well-focused telepathic energy, strategically placed around the globe, can jump start world peace. Ever since I created the prototype MCC almost three weeks ago, I’ve been manifesting a tremendous amount of creative energy, maybe you can tell?

There are a lot of frequencies (flavors) available and they tune into different chakras. Like if you want to blast your AC/DC, or Metallica, that’s cool, but understand that’s the red candle you are dealing with. I like to think of that not as your base or root, but as your ID deep inside your brain. When manifesting those energies, it’s easy to fly off the road, so enjoy the ride, but be advised there are different frequencies higher up the spiritual ladder that are just as fun and a lot more enlightening.

So let’s all have a great 420 this year and I hope everyone tunes into SMT and celebrates 420 on Mt. Tam together as a global 420 ceremony we can all join in on.

HBO’s Epic on Dick Cheney

Can anybody actually sit through that 2-hour epic HBO is running? I always start spacing out after 20 minutes as I find it impossible to focus on Dick Cheney for longer than that. What an over-inflated, pretentious bore of a documentary, eh? The show is a coverup and apology parading as history, a complete distortion of truth, although I’m sure it unintentionally sheds some light in some dark corners despite the carefully selected cast of characters and facts. It plays like Cheney had final cut.

Yeah, the whole “weapons of mass destruction” was a complete lie, they expose that, but the documentary never goes into the structure of the Neo-Con take-over of America and the complex agenda that came with that takeover. The plans for an Iraq invasion as well as the plans for Iraq oil were carefully worked out before Saddam became the unexpected scapegoat for 9/11. According to Greg Palast, the real reason for the invasion was Saddam was dumping oil on the market in a way the oil cartel didn’t like, which kept prices down. The Neo-Cons drew up a plan to sell off every asset Iraq owned, but the oil cartel wanted to make sure the spigots were turned down so as to weaken OPEC’s hand in negotiations? This is the news today at least. You’d be surprised how much the intelligence agencies hover around oil production and distribution as they are considered the keys to the kingdom so long as oil continues to run the world. Only thing more profitable is war and drugs, which usually go together like a horse and carriage.

Here is what I took away from the HBO show from what I’ve seen so far:

We know now that Watergate was really a CIA plot to remove Nixon from power. What happened when Nixon was gone? Rumsfeld took over. Ford was a figurehead president, who didn’t even have his own staff. Rumsfeld brought Cheney into the White House. Ford didn’t know him from Adam. A year later, Cheney becomes the youngest Presidential chief of staff in history. Then Rumsfeld and Cheney made a huge power play, taking out a host of Rockefeller allies. And even though Rockefeller was Vice President at the time, it seems Rumsfeld and Cheney were wielding more power. You have to wonder what power group engineered these two people into such lofty positions.

I guess the best thing about the documentary is watching how a dozen junior lawyers at the Justice Department were able to squash illegal searches that had grown out-of-control, but what they don’t tell you is that the CIA and other agencies like them routinely do illegal searches every day. When you work with the bad boys, bad things happen and nobody is ever the wiser. That sort of activity is part of the culture of winning the fake war on terror. And too bad those lawyers didn’t shut down Gitmo, that national embarrassment that will follow W’s legacy for the rest of his life, pulling his karma like an anchor. That would have been a real achievement.

Letter to Wavy Gravy

Dear Wavy,

Please accept this gift, a magical device I stumbled into after doing improvisational ritual theater for 45 years. I have to be the only student of John Cage, Julian Beck, Jasper Grootveld, Ken Kesey, and you, Wavy Gravy, the greatest peace shaman of my time. Yes, I took an improvisational workshop with you many years ago. You said I had one of the best “flows” in the class. Then we went to Andre Grossmann’s and took some photos. On the way out, you mentioned to someone else to contact you if we wanted to use the photos. Well, that info never got to me and the photo, it quickly ended up on the cover of High Times with the title “Prince of Pot,” (this was before Mark Emery took the title) which created some problems. Sorry about that. But I am hoping this recent invention of mine can smooth over those unfortunate vibes.

I’m not really sure why this device works so well with telepathic energy, but after 7 years of testing, I know that it does, and so do the rest of the Temple Dragon Crew, who helped birth the invention, although I never made a candle in my life until two weeks ago, and it was only after I added scents and gemstones to the sigils, and removed the petroleum wax, that I took an evolutionary step in candle magic. I’ve spent many years studying aromatherapy and put everything I know into this.

Let me know what you think of my project to jump-start world peace with positive energy machines.

It’s worth a try, don’t you think?

Magic Candle Operator’s Manual

Please don’t leave lit candles unattended. And don’t light up all your candles the second they arrive. Take some time to prep the set.

There are three choices: You can leave them as they are and display the candles as art and aromatherapy, you can use them for your major ceremonies, or you can use them as a tool for meditation. When the Temple Dragons conduct a candle ceremony, a different dragon lights each candle, and the first one is typically lit by the High Priestess or High Priest, a role that shifts around constantly so that everyone gets a chance to wear the big hat.

Most of what follows is for those wanting to use the candles for meditation, so feel free to ignore or develop your own operation’s manual.

Name each candle and let that name build a bridge between candle and chakra.

Start with the bass note, the red candle, and work your way up to the tallest candle or start with the green candle, the heart chakra.

First, take a cheap ballpoint pen and trace a line over the paper symbols. Press hard enough to leave a faint impression on the wax. Be sure and trace the circle that surrounds each symbol as well. Creativity is certainly encouraged and you are encouraged to invent your own symbols.

After the symbols have been transferred to the candles, gouge a hole where you want to place each gemstone.

The candles should be placed on an altar in the following order, from left to right: red, yellow, blue, white, purple/indigo, green, orange. If you are going to light all candles at the same time I suggest lighting them in the following order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white.

Each candle, symbol, scent and stone should be explored individually long before you think of firing up all seven cylinders at once.

After lighting a candle, wait until a pool of molten wax forms a circle around the flame and then hover over it for a few seconds to fully inhale the scent vapor while staring into the pool of colored wax, being careful not to burn your hair. Back away when you feel the blast of heat from the flame.

Don’t allow any contaminated items such as petroleum products on your altar. Water is a very powerful purification tool, especially spring water harvested recently from the earth.

Drink as much as possible and make the drinking of it a ritual event and keep some on the altar in a glass you can drink from during your improvisational ceremonies.

Play a drum or musical instrument, sing and dance in front of your altar. The batteries (gemstones) will store that joyful energy. Use a chime, gong or bell with your candle ceremonies.

If you are having trouble jump-starting your set, I suggest downloading the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which is from 1937 and in the public domain and can be obtained free from various websites in pdf form. Just read the book into your set until you start getting a sense of the power of your own mind.

Your chakra centers emit energies, some of which are telepathic in nature, but our auras have become clogged or even shut down entirely through the disconnection from the natural world of vibrations. If used in a reverential manner, these candles may help restore some of those telepathic energies, while enhancing creativity and injecting a spirit of fun into all your ceremonies.

The Alchemist’s Apprentice

INT. Alchemy Lab — late night.

An alchemist is busy pouring candles. A round white table with seven sets of seven colored candles is arranged in a semi-circle around a pile of semi-precious stones. The lab also contains bubbling caldrons of hot wax and plant oils, mortar and pestles of various sorts, scientific and candle-making equipment, books, papers, and other tools of the alchemy trade. The Alchemist’s Apprentice enters and picks up one of the candles from the table.

The top of this candle is messed up.
That’s okay. When it gets named and first lit, it might soon look like any other candle.
So why not light it now and fix it?
Oh, it shouldn’t get lit the first time until it gets named by its owner on the other end.
How come you never let me help you make the candles?
Because I have to do everything myself as a ceremony in order to transmit my frequency into these sacred objects. I assemble the pieces, but when it  gets re-assembled by someone on the other end and turned on and tuned up, that’s when it’s full potential will be revealed. You can’t turn on and tune up someone else’s set without wrecking the vibrations. That one broken top candle? That yellow candle? That set is for a master shaman and I that yellow candle is going to be extremely powerful and the fact that it’s uniquely damaged like no other can only make it more so.
Man, I’d just like to light up all the candles at once for a change. I notice you hardly ever light more than one at a time on your personal altar, and even then, you only leave it on for a few minutes at most. When I get my altar, I’m going to keep all my candles burning for hours and let the vibrations roar!
That could be dangerous. And that is exactly why you are not currently on the list to receive one.
Oh come on dad, cut the hippie crap.

Later that night, after the Alchemist is asleep, the Apprentice creeps into the lab where the seven sets of MCC are arranged in a circle on the table. He starts lighting them and turns on his boom box.

Cut to:

Apprentice on top of table dancing in ecstacy with candles raging all  around him and the boom box blasting at maximum volume. Apprentice starts kicking the jewels and candles off the table to make more room for his dancing as he goes to the floor b-boy style. Suddenly, a change has come over him, and he looks and acts increasingly demonic. He erupts with a primal scream… and then falls quickly asleep completely spent.

The primal scream awakens the Alchemist who gets out of bed to investigate and discovers his lab has been completely trashed.

(Excerpted from Magic, Religion & Cannabis.)

The End of Religion as We Know It

People are surprised by my sudden turn into ceremonial magic, but really, I only started this blog two years ago, and if you look at my first post, it was titled “proof of God’s existence.” I’ve been doing ceremonial magic most of my life, but then so have all of you because magic and religion are the same thing.

It’s very easy to make fun of any culture and its unique rituals. Bill Maher did a good job ridiculing religion in his 2008 documentary on the subject. But really, making fun of people’s religions is just another form of bigotry. See, the whole point of ritual and ceremony is to put meaning into your life and make it more magic. It doesn’t matter what you believe, only that you believe it with all your heart and soul so the magic can flow into your life. When you go home, you have your own ceremonies and rituals, and these may seem bizarre to people on the other side of the world, but so what? Magic is not about being rational and empirical, it’s about vibrations, or, if you prefer, telepathic frequencies.

Most mainstream religions run everything through a Pope, and a flagship temple. Most magic being generated today in the world is contained within mainstream operations and in almost all of these, the priests are the magicians. In Wicca, everyone gets access to the priesthood, which is a huge improvement, and you can also tune in multiple frequencies, which makes Wicca a much more spiritually evolved magic than Christianity in my opinion.

It makes absolutely no difference what name you put on any Gods or Goddesses whose frequencies you wish to tune into. Those frequencies exist and your naming them doesn’t impact their power. But if you dial the frequencies in correctly, they can impact you in major ways. Anyone can talk to any Gods or Goddesses they want and always have been able to. Yes Dorothy, you can go home to Kansas right now.

Of course, it helps if you have the right tools and I recently invented an amplifier, transmitter, receiver, and battery system for telepathic energies. Yeah, a lot of people laughed when I made my announcement on facebook last week. A lot are still laughing.

You have to put the energy into these systems. They don’t work on their own and cannot function unless prayer/meditation is directed into them. There are seven major telepathic energy centers in your body and each has a different frequency. The MCC are designed to tune your particular magic (religion) to the seven chakra centers in your body and tie those elements together with a flame, a color, a scent, a sigil, and a stone. It has taken seven years for me to get to this point, but I know a lot more magic is going to be revealed soon.

If you build your own, it will work better, just follow my specs, but I am going to make 420 sets to send out for the beta test. They are all signed and dated and delivered when ready. I was making four sets a day, but I am out of supplies right now.

And yes, I think these 420 MCC’s will eventually have some impact on the astral plane. See, it only took a few dozen people in Congo Square to create the foundation of blues, jazz and rock’n’roll. You’d be surprised what a few hundred focused minds can accomplish.

You know, the Freemasons are very spiritual and they got a lot of that energy by putting a Talmud, Bible, and Koran on their altar. But you can roar past their magic.

On the road to world peace

One of my current missions is to spread my meditation device around the world as quickly as possible, and you don’t have to get one from me because you build your own and it will work better than anything I could make for you.

Funny how the fake scents have much stronger smell, while the real deals are much more subtle. I usually put Frankincense in my center candle. The device forms a pyramid, which is important because it points up and contributes to creating a positive vibration.

How many drone bases are there worldwide right now? Dunno, that’s classified, but I can tell you it’s less than 500, although expanding at a frightening pace. I’d like to place a seven sacred candle altar as close as possible to every single one of those bases.

I put expensive gems selected by Garrick Beck on my most exclusive sets. The Hammer calls them attenuator buttons, or something like that, but I really think of them as the batteries. I am hoping the stones can pick up vibrations and store them long after the candle wax has melted away.

Ritual or Superstition?

I find some of the magic being practiced today somewhat backward, although the Catholic Church remains a major repository of ritual magic, despite the current scandals.

They deploy candles in almost all their rituals, and their use of candle magic seems more evolved to me that what the average wiccan believes, some of whom will tell you if you take a candle of such and such a color, and say such and such words, then so and so will fall in love with you, or give you a job, or drop dead from a heart attack so you can inherit the family fortune.

Yes, telepathic vibrations are real and spoken words can have telepathic impacts, but when you toss a vibe like that out it’s like tossing a coin into the sea and expecting your dreams to come true. Not really much going on and probably doesn’t have much of a success rate.

One of the things about magic that really bugs me is that the serious books all storm through the shamanistic history of the world looking for some magic secret they can bring home and make a fortune off of. Problem is, magic only works when people believe, and the more people that believe, the more powerful the magic. You can’t take a ceremonial ritual from one culture and transplant it suddenly into another and expect real results. And yet this has largely been the history of sorcery and witchcraft.

After being exposed to the Living Theater, I fell into a little known art form I call Improvisation Ritual Theater. The counterculture is improvisational at heart. So I didn’t need to study someone else’s ideas about magic and spirituality. I just let the spirit flow through me and tried different ways to amplify the energies, which, I learned, come in flavors, or if you prefer, frequencies.

At first, when I was organizing the Cannabis Cup ceremonies, I went to Stephen Gaskin and lived with him for a few weeks while ransacking his written material to assemble a guide to ceremonies that became the book Cannabis Spirituality. I figured as long as I needed to learn how to organize a counterculture ceremony, I might as well turn to a recognized expert.

But the funny thing was, when I asked Stephen to advise to me on the Cup ceremonies, he only said “I don’t prescribe ceremonies. I just let them unfold naturally.” And that’s really the difference between “being spiritual” and just being. The more spiritually aware people are consciously channeling ceremony and ritual in order to enhance their lives and chart a course through the telepathic frequencies: love, fun, peace, serenity, bliss is the counterculture recipe, and all cultures have a unique combination.

Compare that approach with say, “kill a frog and put it in a jar and go to the crossroads, draw a circle, put the frog in the center, and blah, blah blah.”

Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

Anyone that helps open up energy and creative flow is the real deal, and so is anyone who uses ritual to heal. But anyone who tells you they have discovered the secret to life and sells mantras is a hoodwink huckster. And there’s a lot more of hucksters than enlightened beings.

Enlightened beings radiate serenity, although a huckster can fake that. Unenlightened beings radiate negative and hostile energies.

Jetsonism is Nirvana?


Lots of people ask me about the spirals I keep drawing all the time. You notice I put a spiral on the center candle. Where did this fascination with spirals start anyway?

Well, truth be told, it started with Kenny Scharf. I went to interview Kenny around 1981 and he showed me a piece of paper about spirituality, religion and the use of icons (which I now call sigils) that he’d recently written while coming down from mushrooms. I was blown away by the insights Kenny expressed in that essay and keep in mind, Kenny was only 23-years-old at the time, just out of college.

I’m looking for the original xerox Kenny gave me of those ideas on art and spirituality. Can’t seem to find it in this immense archive I’ve collected over the last 45 years, but I did locate a copy of the same material that was printed in a 1983 brochure for a solo show at the Tony Shafrazi gallery that may have been Kenny’s breakout moment (see left).

The essay concluded with the line: “Hydrogen God is the creator: sun, planets, earth, man. The sun being hydrogen, fusing to helium as an after product. Man plays God by using atoms, destroying himself in the process: nuclear catastrophe. Jetsonism is Nirvana.”

The one thing in this essay that really stuck with me however, was how a spiral could take you to a higher level. Kenny had stumbled onto this magic after he’d painted one on his ceiling and began staring into it while high on mushrooms. It actually helped him take his art to a higher level and I don’t think he’d deny this.

I grew up worshiping the Merry Pranksters, who created a ton of magic in the 1960s. When they painted their bus Furthur, they made it magic in the process. Then they began painting themselves and everything around them, transforming their world. I don’t think Kenny knew anything about the Pranksters, his magic bus icon probably came from the Partridge Family. But Kenny instinctively understood the magic of customizing everyday objects, ritualizing them in the process. At the time, Kenny had recently customized a vacuum cleaner and was taking it for walks around the neighborhood like it was a pet dog, all part of the magic world he was manifesting.

Today, the specter of nuclear annihilation has diminished considerably, but the threat of environmental and/or social collapse still hangs around, although I refuse to get involved with apocalyptic thinking. Fear is the basis for all mind control.

The World’s Greatest Living Rock Critic

Strangely, you won’t find him on wikipedia, but if you spent any time hanging around the New York City music scene, you’d already know that James “the Hound” Marshall (left) is the undisputed king of living rock critics, a mantle he inherited from Lester Bangs.

I didn’t become aware of Marshall’s talents until I bounced into the East Village Eye soon after the SoHo Weekly News folded. I’d left the Village Voice in disgust and had a special contempt for their rock critic Robert Christgau, who’d torpedoed my piece on the first rock diva, Arlene Smith, because her manager didn’t like the tone of my piece. Marshall had recently resigned as the rock critic at the Eye, but was still writing a column called The Real American Underground. Actually, he resigned as Music Editor after the editor (Leonard Abrams) refused to give a column to Lester Bangs, who, like me, had shown up and was offering to write for free due to lack of any counterculture journals left standing. That would be one of many mistakes made by Leonard and before long, Lester would pass on without receiving his proper due.

Right away, I noticed Marshall paid zero attention to what was happening in popular music, while seeking out the best combination of the old originators of R&B and country, people who never got their due, along with the current under-appreciated rock bands of today, bands like the Seekers and the Fleshtones.

At the time, I was the first journalist documenting the history of hip hop, which had been going on unnoticed for many years. Marshall was not a big fan of the music, and why would he be, since many early records contained a lot of trash, like the Sugarhill Gang, an over-the-hill bunch of fake rappers soft-talking over a mainstream disco hit. I’m sure if he’d gone to any of the real South Bronx jams I attended, he would have had a completely different take on the music. Let’s just say, he preferred Hank Ballard to the Sugarhill Gang. Flick Ford was the art director at the Eye at the time, and I was really impressed with his work.

It was around this time that I decided to return to my roots in the original garage band movement, and I convinced Flick and the assistant art director at High Times, Brian Spaeth, to join me in creating a garage band super group. See, I knew one of the drummers for the Finchley Boys, the greatest garage band in Central Illinois history, had recently arrived in New York. His name was Brian Moorse. I also knew one of the greatest R&B guitar players from my town was also living in New York. His name was Bob Brandel. When I heard Brian Spaeth had been an original member of the Fleshtones, the reigning champions of New York City garage rock, I felt we had the makings of something really special. Flick had so much charisma and creative energy he seemed like the perfect front man. Much to my surprise, Marshall showed up at one of our earliest gigs, and came backstage after the show to tell us how much he liked our sound. That’s when we knew we were for real.

The Seekers also loved us, by the way, and we played a couple of gigs opening for them. We never opened for the Fleshtones, but they came to our shows as fans and really dug our dueling guitar sound since we were one of the few garage bands around at the time with two guitars.

Around this time, I commissioned Marshall to write a feature on the worst things in rock history, and I also commissioned Flick to illustrate the article. It would be the first of many collaborations between them.

The result became one of the most notorious articles ever published in High Times. You can download it off the new High Times Hits smashwords site for 99 cents (see link below). And please check out Marshall’s entertaining blog at:

And will somebody please do The Hound justice with a decent wikipedia page?